I’m working on what I call my chainsaw edit of a paranormal romance novel (where I look at the overall structure of the novel and make all major changes to plot, character, flow, etc.) and I’ve found myself running into some issues with a side character.
But not just any side character–this particular one is Thor, God of Thunder.
I don’t particularly like writing side characters. I think they’re hard to do well and they complicate things. I like to stick to important characters (this isn’t necessarily main characters–it’s pretty much any character that is present throughout the story and directly affects things) and background characters.
When I originally wrote this book, Thor was unplanned. For that reason alone, it was necessary to look hard at him to see if he was affecting the plot in a negative manner. But he’s not, and he’s fun, and I rather like him a lot, so after careful consideration, I’m going to keep him.
Of course, you can’t just have a character in a book because you like them, however. So I’ve been working at integrating him into the plot. This has been slightly difficult. I need him to be important enough to justify his being there, but not so important that he’s pulling things away from the main characters and/or making major modifications to the plot at this juncture.
I may have finally figured things out, however. I hope to start any necessary rewrites next week, so we’ll see how things go.
Have you ever had a character that didn’t quite fit the first time through? Did you take them out or leave them in? Or can you think of a character in a book/movie/TV show/whatever where you’ve wondered why they were there?